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Help me spend $50 on wine at Trader Joe's! [moved from SF Bay board]

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Hey everyone, I got a $50 gift card to Trader Joe's for my birthday, and instead of just using it to buy groceries that I would normally buy, I figured I could buy some nice wines there.

I went to TJ's near Saratoga/Westgate today and here is what I found. Please comment if you have tried any of these wines. I am also open to others, as long as they are available at TJ's. Thanks for your help!!

Cabernet Sauvignons:
-2000 Saddleback Cellars, $30
-2000 Rodney Strong Reserve, $30
-2003 Stags Leap Napa Valley, $43
-2000 Tistraya Napa Valley, $28
-2003 Roth, Alexander Valley, $30
-2004 Crane Family Napa Valley, Don Rafaele Estate, $24

-2004 Rosenblum Cellars Zinfandel, Redwood Valley, Annette's Reserve, $33
-2003 Ridge Winery Merlot, SC Mtns $25
-2002 BV Reserve Tapestry Red, $35
-2000 Crichton Hall Reflexion (Bordeaux style), Napa, $30

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  1. i ran a few through cellartracker and it looks like the best bang for your buck in that selection is the saddleback. although personally i would go for the crichton.

    1. Griffen, thanks for your comment. I'd never seen cellartracker.com before but it is awesome! The Saddleback and Crichton do look good, and the rosenblum got a good review too. This will definitely be a tough decision! I will probably pick up 2 of the wines w/ the GC.

      1. Piper-Heidseick Brut Champagne (dry, not extra dry). $25, which is $7-10 cheaper than most places. Delicious!

        1. In the move to the Wine board, this thread seemed to have lost a couple informative posts! :(

          I take it that not too many people have tried these wines, and usually buy the cheaper wines at TJ's (myself included!).

          1. I'm also one who checks TJ's for bargains and they have Gloria Ferrer Sonoma Brut for $12.99 (it's $18.99 at Safeway) which is an excellent California sparkling wine. Also, Ruffino 2004 Chianti at $6.99 (and 10 times better than 2 Buck Chuck)plus Marquis de Caceres 2005 Rioja Rosado and 2005 Rioja Bianco for $5.99, exceptional bargains. Also, they seem to have the best prices on Schramsberg. The Piper-Heidsieck Brut is excellent and an excellent buy.